histidine

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Do you guys think I have a chance at an MD/PhD program?

I majored in biology as an undergrad at a second tier (somewhere between US news rank 30-60) university in the Northwest and graduated magna cum laude in 2012.

Here are my stats:

3.9 sGPA 3.85 cGPA
37 MCAT (13P, 12B,12V)

I have had 3 individual semesters of undergraduate biological research, none which culminated in a paper. Each project was in a distinct field of biology so I've had a broad experience in terms of techniques.

I have typical ECs, maybe a little lower than average volunteering and clinical experience (a deficiency I know will hold me back in in top MD-only programs - I'm hoping MD-PhD programs will somewhat overlook it)

I am currently at the NIH doing some biochemical focused research. Some of my work will be in a paper, though I will be third author. I will be staying at the NIH through the gap year which possibly could lead to first or second authorship.

I'm possibly interested in PhD programs in biophysics, though I'm keeping my options open. I have straight As in my 3 physics classes, general chem through orgo, and calculus through multivariable, and straight As in all upper level bio classes. Only reason my sGPA is not a 4.0 is because I slacked off a bit in my intro bio classes and didn't go to class. Apparently attendance points are a thing in college.

Prior to this past year, I was going to do MD-only. Although I enjoyed research, I applied to the NIH after graduating just as a way to take some time off, do something enjoyable, and strengthen my application. I've realized (quite late seeing that it is already February) that I truly enjoy research. I want to mesh everything I like - physics, chemistry, math, and biology - with my aspirations of becoming a doctor. Truthfully, I have no idea how they will combine into a single career. During high school and early in college, my "goal" was to get through medical school as fast as possible, and to become a "real" practicing doctor in my early 30s. Now, just half a year out of college, I don't feel that rush anymore. I know an MD/PhD will take me 8 years, but, if I truly enjoy the whole experience, does it even matter? Is it a "waste" if I come out of the program as a 100% researcher or 100% clinician and not integrating the two careers?

I started off asking if you guys think I could be accepted into a physician scientist program, but I guess I added a couple more questions onto it. Basically, to you MD/PhDs who have gone through the program and started your career, was it worth the added time? If you aren't "using" the MD or the PhD, do you look back on it as a waste of time or a valuable life experience?
 

Neuronix

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What exactly is your concern here? You have a 3.9 GPA, a 37 MCAT, 1.5 years of undergrad research, and are doing 2 years at the NIH. This is practically showboating.

I hope you read the FAQ on this topic: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=539268

Also, you are going to generate a lot of negative responses on SDN. Keep it simple. Nobody cares that you don't have a 4.0 sGPA because "because I slacked off a bit in my intro bio classes," and it sounds very pretentious.


Truthfully, I have no idea how they will combine into a single career. During high school and early in college, my "goal" was to get through medical school as fast as possible, and to become a "real" practicing doctor in my early 30s. Now, just half a year out of college, I don't feel that rush anymore. I know an MD/PhD will take me 8 years, but, if I truly enjoy the whole experience, does it even matter? Is it a "waste" if I come out of the program as a 100% researcher or 100% clinician and not integrating the two careers?
Read the FAQs and search the forums before asking. This has been asked ad nauseum. See to start:

http://www.aamc.org/students/considering/research/mdphd/
http://www.mdphds.org/

I started off asking if you guys think I could be accepted into a physician scientist program, but I guess I added a couple more questions onto it. Basically, to you MD/PhDs who have gone through the program and started your career, was it worth the added time? If you aren't "using" the MD or the PhD, do you look back on it as a waste of time or a valuable life experience?
Do a search. This has been repeatedly discussed. Most recently: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=900721
 
OP
histidine

histidine

5+ Year Member
Feb 2, 2013
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Medical Student
Sorry, I should have done more extensive researching through the forums. I guess I'm just worried seeing friends, who are applying MD-only with similar stats, research, and better volunteering history being waitlisted or turned down at all their schools. I know the MD-PhD committee is separate and looking for different things, though I am still worried that my below-average volunteering would hurt me.

I didn't mean to sound pretentious or make excuses, I just wanted to clarify that my GPA was on an upwards trend from freshman year.

I have read all the topics on the MD/PhD page of AAMC and most of MDPhDs.org. I understand the career paths people typically take, though I was more interested in hearing from people who went through the whole program and later decided to pursue 100% research or 100% clinical. In retrospect, my question cannot be answered reliably as everyone is different and no one can predict how I will feel.

I read your post on the thread http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=900721 which was incredibly helpful, thanks for linking it.
 

pfaction

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What exactly is your concern here? You have a 3.9 GPA, a 37 MCAT, 1.5 years of undergrad research, and are doing 2 years at the NIH. This is practically showboating.
The only thing I was curious about was the segmented semesters of research, because I think most programs want to see a consistent year+ in the same lab, but s/he did that with the NIH. OP, I think you're good to go.